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Kellie Rasberry interviews "The Fault in Our Stars" actors Shailene Woodley and Nat Wolff, along with author John Green.

Kellie: What I love about your movie, because I work with a charity that takes chronically and terminally ill children to the cliche Disney World that you talk about in the movie, which is funny, it wasn't offensive, I get it.  The thing I've always said about these kids is they're normal kids who just happen to have cancer or sickle cell or whatever, and I really like the fact that your characters are just normal teenagers with the same desires and needs, not really sure as a parent how I feel about the sex scene, but I mean, that's true, and that's how you portrayed them as normal kids who happen to have this really bad thing going on.

Shailene: Yeah, I often get asked, you know, like, what was it like playing a cancer patient in a movie?  I'm like, I--you know, or like, how did you prepare for that?  And I was like, we didn't really, I mean, we did play cancer patients because of what they're going through, but I wasn't playing a young girl with terminal cancer, I was playing a young girl who was falling in love for the first time and going through the--through loss and heartbreak and grief and excitement and adrenaline and butterflies and--

Nat: With extra stakes.

Shailene: Yeah, with extra stakes, that's such a great way to put it.  With higher stakes, but that doesn't discredit the fact that it's still the first time maybe that she has had this experience with a guy or, you know, waited for her phone to buzz and I think that that is what you just said, it's so important.  Cancer doesn't define a person.

Kellie: Right.  Just normal people with the same desires, and I kinda dug that from Laura Dern's as the Mom's perspective, you know, she wanted you to experience everything you could as quickly as you can because your time is so limited.

Shailene: I know.  So good.  She's so good.

Kellie: And then Nat, to lose your eyesight and to still be able to find the comedy in that, because I--from your character, I thought you were more upset about losing your girlfriend than you were about losing your eyes.

Nat: Yeah, I think a lot of that is just projection, you know, like, I think it's easier to be upset about getting dumped than it is about losing your eyesight, so I think a lot of that is just, you know, it's something that I definitely do in real life, you know, you get upset about a thing that sucks, but it's a smaller thing, because you can't deal with the bigger problem, 'cause that would be way too painful.  Um, and then I also think that's, you know, by the end, you know, he uses humor to deal with his pain, which is also something that I do, so I had a really easy time connecting with that character.

Kellie: Yeah, and I read, I think, that you were like, do a lot of improv, so did you get to in your big explosive scene, were you incorporating a lot of that?

Nat: Um, yeah, wait, in what scene?

Kellie: In like, when you were like, going crazy, you were like, you know, they were having this really, you know, deep conversation, you're in the background going nuts.

John: The trophy scene.

Kellie: It must have been hard to keep a straight face during all that. 

Shailene: It was at first, I think, it was pretty funny, like, we would break, but we could incorporate it into the scene, you know, like, that's sort of the beauty about scenes like that, is--(?~2:37)

Shailene: If we're laughing in real life, we just incorporated it, because Hazel and Gus would be laughing at that.

Nat: I remember hitting a trophy and it almost hit you in the face, though.

Shailene: Yeah, he almost--we were--

Nat:Yeah, it bounced off something and almost hit her in the face, yeah.

Shailene: We--when we were off-screen when it was his close-ups, we were wearing goggles, so we wouldn't get shards of--

Nat: And it hit her goggle or something.

Shailene: It hit my goggle, yeah.  I was wearing goggles and it hit my gog--if I--I actually could have had one eye.

Nat: Yeah.  Yeah.  You could have played my part then.

Shailene: Why are you wearing a patch, Shai?  Oh, well, Nat...he broke, Nat Wolff threw a trophy at me.

Nat: We could have switched parts, I could have done Hazel. 

John: Yeah, you would have been great.

Nat: Gus? 

John: That's very compelling.

Nat: Gus?


Kellie: There was so much passion for the book, and you know how teenage girls and guys and whoever read the book, they had this movie playing out in their mind and then to have to go to the theater and it may or may not be the same movie they had in their heads, so there's a lot of pressure probably for the casting and how did it feel as each person was cast?  Is that feel--did it resonate for you?

John: Yeah, I mean, I was also nervous, because the story means a lot to me, it's a very personal story to me, and I wanted to--I thought it was going to be hard to make a movie that was really faithful to the book.  A lot of that credit goes to--I think it is one of the most faithful movie adaptations I've ever seen.  A lot of the credit goes to the director, Josh Boone, but also the cast was amazing, and when we were casting the movie, you know, I got to see a lot of audition tapes, it, of course, it wasn't my decision, 'cause it's not my movie, but I was--I'm such a big fan of Shailene and Ansel and Nat.  I think Laura Dern is amazing as Hazel's mom, I think Sam Trammel's so great as Hazel's dad and I think that--I think that's ultimately why the movie is such a faithful adaptation is that it feels--I mean, when I was watching it, I felt like they had almost a supernatural understanding of how it seemed in my head when I was writing it.

Kellie: And there are some, you know, (?~4:35) "You left this out of the movie, how could you do that?" but I mean, you have to sacrifice certain things.

John: Of course, I mean, there's always gonna be some stuff that you take away, but the very little, in this case, and what mattered to me the most was keeping the tone of the movie.  I mean, it's easy enough to preserve story, it's really hard to preserve tone, especially because it's such a particular tone, and I thought that was just done exceptionally well.


John: But I mean, y'all read the book, you know?  Like, you cared about the book and I think that made a big difference.

Nat: And I think that when you watch the movie, it has very similar tone to the book, or at least at the end, I felt the same.

Kellie: Well, the casting was excellent.  I think every part was just nailed and Peter van Houten turned around the room, the men in the audience were like, yes!  I think they were surprised to see Willem Defoe and that was just--awesome.

Shailene: Yeah.

Nat: Yeah.

Shailene: He was so good.

Nat: And powerful, yeah. 

John: Yeah.

Kellie: Good bad guy.

Shailene: That face.

John: Terrifying. 

Kellie: Well, you've been doing this mini-tour around the country and you've been to Miami, Nashville, Dallas, and there's one ore I'm forgetting.

All: Cleveland.

Kellie: Cleveland.  So, whose idea was it to do this mini-tour, why those cities, and how has the fan response been?

Shailene: I think it was--was it Fox's idea?

John: Yeah, it was Fox's idea.

Shailene: They had--brilliant idea.  They had fans vote.

Nat: It was my idea.

John: It's all Nat.

Shailene: Yeah.  Nat Wolff.

Nat: Yeah, I just said, let's--I wanna hang with you guys. 

Shailene: And I wanna go to Cleveland.

Nat: Yeah, I know.

Shailene: They had fans vote.

Kellie: Cleveland is a rather odd choice, I mean.

Shailene: Well, they had fans vote on all 50, whatever, states.

John: Yeah, every 50 state.  Every--every.

Nat: Cleveland's actually the biggest, yeah.

John: Every state could vote, and so--

Shailene: And those were the cities that had the most votes, so Dallas was one of four cities that had the most votes.

Kellie: I did not know--I guess I should have researched that a little bit better. 


Shailene: It is a random grouping of cities to go to.

Kellie: Yeah, and you were saying last night was just so special, you'll never forget it.  What--was there something specific that happened?

Shailene: Yeah, I think in a way it felt like a graduation, because it was our last night all together with that sort of experience.

John: And there were thousands and thousands of people, I mean, it was just so wonderful to be able to talk about the book and the movie with all those thousands of people, and then there was a very special moment where a young woman--

Shailene: A young woman--

John: Who is living with cancer asked a question about the book and the story and shared with us that some things resonated with her about the story, and it was a really wonderful moment, and then this crowd of thousands of people started chanting her name.

Nat: Chanting her name, yeah. 

Shailene: Chanting her name, on their own, without us--

John: Yeah, they're just on their own and it was really, really beautiful.

Shailene: Chills.

John: Yeah, and we all--it brought us all to tears.

Kellie: Well, I've gotta wrap up, but I have one question I wanna ask really quickly.  Part of the movie is Gus--Augustus--wanted to be there to hear what his funeral was like, and you eulogized him.  I wanna know what is the song you want to be played at your funeral?  Have you thought that far ahead?

John: Oh, I think about that all the time. 

Kellie: 'Cause I already know what I want.  I want Michael Jackson, "She's Outta My Life", I want them to be laying on the floor weeping that I'm gone.

Shailene: Out of love.

John: I like "Amazing Grace", it's my favorite. 

Shailene: Honestly, I have a friend who is so special to me and he's a musician so I would just love him, his name is (?~7:49), and I would love, I mean, like, he would just play a song, yeah. 

John: Nat?

Nat: Well, my favorite song of all time is (?~7:57) by The Beatles.

John: That's a good one.

Nat: Yeah.

Shailene: Oh, "Hold My Hand". 

John: The Beatles, I mean, you could do--

Nat: Anything by The Beatles would be amazing.

John: You could do, like, you could do a couple hundred Beatles funerals.

Nat: I want a long funeral. 

Shailene: I want every Beatles song to play. 

Nat: From beginning to the end.

Kellie: Well, thank you all so much, it was a great movie, I cried, take Kleenex or steal a bunch of napkins at the concession stand.  It was incredible, so thank you very much.

John: Thank you!

Shailene: Thank you so much.